Is there an obsession with celebrity culture?
Celebrity news is so popular in society, but is it starting to go over the top?
The answer to the question above is for you to decide.
As a keen reader of celebrity news and following the culture around it, it is clear that as a society we have a fascination with fame and the glamourous lifestyle that links exclusively to being famous. But, is this fascination turning into an obsession?
Read on to find out what I think…
The celebrity realm and the mass media are bound by a mutually beneficial relationship that works to maintain celebrity status whilst ensuring that there is a substantial media influence on what we as consumers read and continue to read. This can be made obvious through the headline stories or feature articles that are extremely popular in British culture, often these stories are designed to expose the celebrity being written about which can spike a reader’s interest the more graphic the headline or article can be.
New celebrity stories can create a very destructive relationship between media and celebrities in the sense that whatever is published (whether that is fact or false) can damage the reputation of a celebrity in a very short click.
Huge media publicity comes from covering celebrity stories and can receive widespread readership, as everyone is interested in the next big scandal like the tidal wave of media coverage at the moment with the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard defamation case.
The competition for the next big celebrity story is always in high demand and can often come at the demise of celebrities for tabloid gain. Comparing this to ‘real’ news, which I would define as news stories that are relevant, serious, and often hard-hitting, the stories always seem to come at a close second to the negative celebrity headlines.
The overshadowing of real news by celebrity news is emphasised by hugely popular tabloid papers like the Daily Mail or The Sun, which publish to gain readership, a high amount of clicks, or to produce a viral story. Often this places the content of an article further down on the list, as the main priority is the creation of a trending story.
It shows that the main interest we as readers and consumers of media have is the next story about our favorite celebrity, not hard-hitting news that actually matters to our lives, and that alone is laced with irony.
But why is this?
The media does well to lift up a celebrity by giving them constant media attention in the form of articles about their life or career, only to later tear them down in the most destructive manner, in order to gain more media coverage.
A prime example of how the media is influential in making or breaking a celebrities career is Britney Spears, initially, she was the media’s sweetheart, particularly in her ‘Baby One More Time’ era then tore her down when she started to struggle with fame only to then shave her head in 2007, branding her mentally unstable and ignoring the fact she needed privacy.
It shows that tabloids can easily manipulate their stories around what is likely to gain a popular outcome from their readers or twist the narrative to change reader perspectives too.
The invasion of privacy that celebrities constantly experience is extremely toxic for both the press and us as readers, as there is an urgent craving for the next big headline. This casts as an addiction, constantly leaving us wanting more as the stories often come in dribs and drabs.
The juicier and more negative toward the celeb’s life, the more we revel in it and this places emphasis on how in modern society we have an affinity for other people’s misfortunes, formally known as trauma porn.
As readers, we could even take the avenue of preferring celebrity news more than day-to-day news to escape our own reality. Or perhaps this makes us feel better about our own monotonous lives? As the media has proved that even Beyonce can get cheated on, despite being one of the most beautiful and successful women in the world. It shows that everyone, even your favourite celebrities experience the mundane and that is bound to create reader satisfaction.
This is important in beginning to understand the fascination that is clearly present within celebrity culture and how it is so deep-rooted in many people’s lives, but this is arguably leading to it being far more toxic.
What do you think?